Worlds in a Box: A Virtual Book of (little) Wonders

Friends of Fisher Event

Location: Maclean Hunter Room, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Time: 6:00-7:00pm

Massimo Riva, Professor of Italian Studies and Modern Media at Brown University, will present on his latest project: a digital monograph entitled "Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World," which focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century optical devices that enabled their users to travel virtually and visit distant lands or imaginary places, without leaving home. Forerunners of contemporary virtual travel and social media technologies, these forms of street entertainment and popular theatre were the expression of a dawning information society in the early age of modern globalization. In presenting a few of these spectacles, he'll follow a thread: the analogy between these miniature theaters of the world and the book as a universal container of stories, a model for countless realistic and illusory simulations.